Saturday, April 10, 2010

West Maitland Railway Station flooded 1930

Hat tip to Peter Firminger for this one. The following photo from Wikipedia shows the West Maitland Railway station during the big flood of 1930. If you click on the photo, you should be able to enlarge it.

Now when Peter gave me the link, he said that it was a photo of Maitland Railway station. When I looked at it, I thought Maitland too, but then I looked at the platform sign - West Maitland. Digging around, I find that the station was called West Maitland until 1 April 1949 when it was renamed Maitland.

Looking at the photo, I noticed the sign telling me to shop at Chant's next time and collect green coupons. I am sure that Maitland people do, but I don't know Chant's. I tried a search, but could not find anything. I vaguely remember shopping coupons, and again did a search. There seems to have been a company called Green Coupons Pty Ltd, but that was all I could find. My memory is that shopping coupons became very popular at one point, but then fell out of fashion. They are back today, of course, in a variety of guises including loyalty programs.

I was also fascinated by the mother with two children walking along along one of the platforms. They looked dressed for travel (people used to dress up), but it's hard to see a train arriving.

Finally, I was reminded of the important role Maitland played as a railway junction. I must write something on this at some point, including the now defunct private South Maitland Railway. This was mainly a coal line, but also carried passengers between Cessnock and Maitland. The line to Cessnock closed around 1975. I suspect that it would be quite useful now.


Peter Firminger said...

I didn't even notice the sign. Now it seems far too obvious. I've clearly spent too much time at Steamfest in the past 5 years (which is co-incidentally on next weekend).

Peter Firminger said...

I might add another note here, there's some wonderful old photos on the NSW State Records Flickr pages (this link is a search for "New England").


Jim Belshaw said...

Hi Peter. You continue to be worth your weight in gum nuts!

I will run a story on both Steamfest and the Flickr link. I will also add the Flickr link to my list of on-line resources on New England's history.

Peter Kirsop said...

The passenger service to Cessnock stopped in about 1966, the coal trains ran till very recently and may restart with the continued high price of coal as the South Maitland Coal fields still have a lot of coal in them

Jim Belshaw said...

Thanks, PK! My impression was that many of the lines had gone. Am I wrong?